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Thursday, February 15, 2007

When blogs actually do what blogs can do

Want to actually read a blog that does something right? Well, here is Greg Sargent at TPM Cafe who noted that a false attribution was made to Abraham Lincoln on the U.S. House floor. Note the difference between fact-checking and exhibitionism. And the discernment of accurate and honest use of quoted materials. Honesty and competence are offenses in the South Dakota blogosphere, so tread gently.

GOP Rep. Recycles Phony Lincoln Quote During Escalation Debate
By Greg Sargent bio
Here's GOP Rep. Don Young of Alaska on the House floor today, coming out against the anti-escalation resolution. To make his case, Young very portentously attributed the following quote to Abraham Lincoln: "Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs, and should be arrested, exiled or hanged." (If you click on the link above, you can go to a video of Rep. Young's performance.)

Of course, as many of you know already, Lincoln never said those words. The quote, which has been recycled endlessly by war supporters, has been thoroughly discredited. Given that the discrediting of this quote has been all over the internet for over six months, we have to ask: Did Rep. Young know that the quote was bogus, but recycle it anyway? We'll never know. He certainly seemed to think what he was saying was very profound.

1 comment:

Douglas said...

I must not read the right wrong blogs. I had not seen that phony quote before.

Incidentally, TPM Cafe is something not quite like most blogs because it really isn't a least not a blog written by just one person. From the "About" area at TPM

TPMCafe is a public meeting place to read about and discuss politics, culture and public life in the United States. The site hosts both blogs and public discussion areas.

It is owned and operated by TPM Media LLC, edited by Joshua Micah Marshall, and powered by the collaborative media application, Drupal.

More About TPM and TPMCafe ...

Joshua Micah Marshall started publishing Talking Points Memo (TPM), a political blog, in November 2000 during the disputed Florida election recount. The site has been in continuous publication ever since. It has a monthly readership of well over half a million readers and is frequently noted in publications across the United States.

TPMCafe was launched as a companion site to TPM on May 31st, 2005 to provide a forum for commentary, discussion, collaborative journalism and activism.

I am not quite sure yet why you make such generalized attacks on blogs. As a previous post here of yours indicated, other media can be abused by sensationalists. The Anna Nicole Smith coverage by CBS, ABC and nearly every newspaper suggests that any technology including blogs can be wasted or abused.

Blogs have pulled the ability to generate commentary out into the country. A few columnists or talking heads no longer have a monopoly on opinion. Of course that doesn't prevent some bloggers from being the dump end of a sewer pipe directly from Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.

My perspective on blogs in the general sense is that they make straight news reporting by the traditional media even more important. They do however diminish the need (if one ever existed) for columnists like George Will...which is perhaps why Will has attacked blogs.

In any case, keep thinking about the issues of blogs and other media as the relate to an informed or uninformed electorate.

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